VTU FINAL REPORT HOWTO


NOTE: Mirror of this page is available here: VLSI Systems Lab. THE LATEST VERSION IS HERE: ECE Dept..

NOTE FOR IIScians: Looks like Google shows this page when queried for IISc Latex thesis. Download iiscthes.cls, iisclogo.sty,iiscthes.sty and iisclogo.eps. The page ur looking for is here: http://etd.ncsi.iisc.ernet.in/instructions/templates.htm.


Ok .. you have done all the hardwork ... You've read infinite (countably infinite.... for the purists) number of papers .... You've chosen your project topic, finalized a problem, visualized, designed and implemented/simulated the architecture, run-modify-rerun the simulation till it fit your theoretical results .... Basically u've finished your MTech project (you feel so or ur guide is just plain tired) ...

You have to write the report now. The irony of life (or let's say VTU engineering) is .... no matter how many nightouts you have done trying to debug that 1 crucial error ... no matter how many papers u have gone through .... you get marks based on ONLY what you write in your MTECH FINAL REPORT. (except those internal marks where every dumb tom, dick and harry in the class gets more than you ;) ). And there is some marks allotted for a paper presented/published at any seminar/symposium/conference/journal.

I've been there ... done that ... Ya .... MTech. from VTU. Not that i prepared the best project report in VTU's history... but i have gone through enough to make a page giving instructions about how to write a final report without common errors and stupid mistakes. After going through the torture of reading this page you should be able to write a tolerably good report that might save u one or two correction trips to your college and get that prized signature from your guide on ur report.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Organization of the rest of the report
  2. Organization of the VTU Report
  3. The VTU Circular
  4. Points to Remember
  5. LaTeX
    1. LaTeX in LinuX
    2. LaTeX in Windows
    3. LaTeX Intro
    4. LaTeX Examples
  6. VTU LaTeX CLASS FILE
  7. Final Viva
  8. Other Reading

1. Introduction

This page is by a VTUian, for a VTUian. The final report guidelines and other information here for your use. Every single line in this document is my own personal, trivial, inexperienced opinion. Use and follow at your risk. Any comments, suggestions to basavaraj_DOT_talwar_AT_gmail_DOT_com. (Replace the _DOT_ with a . and _AT_ with an '@').

I have written the document for PG students (I was one). Most of this applies to UG too. This HowTo contains:
  1. General guidelines about writing a report based on my own experience. I'm writing here bcz i couldn't find any at the time of my writing when i desperately needed.
  2. Formatting guidelines for the report.
  3. LaTeX document class file for preparation of the report. Highly incomplete right now but does most of the formatting well.
  4. This is NOT a report writing tutorial. I created the page just to show off my LaTeX document class file. Many report writing guides/tutors can be found on the Net.

1.1 Organisation of the rest of the article

The rest of the HowTo is organized as follows. Section 2 lists the contents of a VTU report. Section 3 has links to an available VTU circular that contains rules for formatting etc. The important points from the circular and some points of my own are presented in Section 4. Section 5 presents an introductory tutorial on LaTeX. The class file to be used to prepare reports for VTU is put up in Section 6. Section 7 gives a usual rundown on how ur viva will be. Section 8 gives some misc materials that might help. Download materials required to prepare your report are all separately put up in Appendix A. Appendix B always contains matter that is not yet included in the main article - but will be soon after some refinement. I have written something on Literature Survey right now.

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2. Organization of the VTU Report

The report has to have these in that order starting from the very 1st page (As soon as you open the hard bound report).
  1. An OHP and The Front Page - The front page is the same that appears on the cover of the hard bound. The OHP is for some mysterious reason even the VTU officials won't know.
  2. Certificates - Two in number. First is the internal guide & college principal's. The 2nd is the external guide's. You may put OHPs before each of these if you wish. The external guide's certificate, contrary to the popular opinion, is NOT IMPORTANT. If you are not able to procure one, or if your external guide is not in a position to sign it ... It's ok .... Every1 will accept ... you will PASS MTech. (I have.)
  3. Declaration Page - Says something like ... I am the only one who worked on this ORIGINAL project and God strike me dead this second if it is found untrue .... Dude, 4get abt what it says. Copy your friend's, change the name and just sign it. That's all.
  4. Abstract - Your report starts here. The previous pages don't have any page numbers. Roman page number i is the Abstract.
  5. Acknowledgement - This is where you thank all those people whom you've rarely (or never) met but whose inspiration, motivation, encouragement, blessings etc. etc. have helped u to write this immensely knowledgeable report and NOT thank your friend who did most of your coding. There is some debate as to whether Abstract should come first or Acknowledgement. I don't care bcz VTU doesnt seem to care. I wrote it this way and it was accepted ... that's all that matters.
  6. The Contents, Lists of Figures, Tables, Acronyms, Equations/Symbols used in the report and such other lists. - They should know your report isn't hollow.
  7. Body of the Report - If you didn't begin your report with an Introduction and conclude it with a Conclusion and Future Work, you will be hunted like a dog, caught and put in a lion's den. There some people i know who'd like to try that..... More details follow.
  8. References - NOT 'Bibliography' and NOT 'Just to make others think i'm cool' but References. The ones you've referred .... in your report .... when you wrote those hi-fi technical comments. Every item in your reference list should have a citation in the body.
  9. Appendix - Index, Glossary and others can be put here (according to my humble opinion). Also this is the place where the gr8ter beings put their data sheets/circuit diagrams and other xtreme stuff that don't fit in the body.

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3. The VTU Circular

VTU Final report guidelines are here(in scanned PDF). They are old and i'd appreciate if any1 could provide newer ones. In any case .... they give the idea. Only the declaration page is missing which was added in later years.
Report formatting rules - Page 1 Circular - Page 1
Report formatting rules - Page 2 Circular - Page 2
MTech. Marks distribution Circular - Page 3
Third semester MTech. Dissertation Evaluation Marks Sheet Circular - Page 4
Colour of the report cover and other details Circular - Page 5
Matter for the certificates Circular - Page 6

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4. Points to Remember

Some other important points from the circular are illustrated here. Some important points NOT from the circular are here. Follow them so that you don't have to make rounds of your college searching for your guide to approve your report more than once/twice.

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5. LaTeX

Now you know the rules. Don't just run away and start MS-Word and start typing. What MS-Word does LaTeX (pronounced lay-tech) does a zillion times better. And is a million times easier. An excellent introduction to latex is given by the latex people themselves here. A good latex reference is Not so short intro to LaTeX. The latex user guide at the latex project page is available here. Here's 1 very good book on how to write a thesis in LaTeX. It'll take 30 minutes to learn more than half of LaTeX (and more than half is more than enough to write more than 100 MTech reports.)
And learning is made easy by a cool latex editor environment called Kile - KDE Integrated LateX Environment..

And learning is made easy by a cool latex editor environment called Kile - KDE Integrated LateX Environment.. An even better editor called LYX follows the WYSIWYM paradigm in text proecessing. It can create PS, PDF, DOC, TEX files from an interface similar to ones in the standard word processors. I strongly recommend LYX for any1 who is uncomfortable with the idea of creating and compiling a .tex file, converting it to ps or pdf. However BOTH editors require some initial knowledge of LaTeX. Most info abt latex in the following paragraphs should be enough to make a LOT of progress. OpenOffice 2.0 has an export to LaTeX2e option.

LaTeX is a typetting, text formatting system (language). Similar to HTML at the surface (there are start and end tags for most tasks). LaTeX was written to give the author freedom from formatting the text. Trivial stuff like setting the chapter titles to 18 points and putting them in the centre of the page etc. is handled by LaTeX. A very short intro to LaTeX is presented here. TeX (a formatting language was written by the Donald E Knuth). LaTeX is a macro package created by Leslie Lamport to help us mortals to create high quality documents (ps/pdf among others). A very brief LaTeX tutorial is presented in the following sections. Tutorial links for LaTeX are presented in Section 5.3 and also in the downloads section.

5.1 LaTeX in LinuX

The required packages to run LaTeX are probably already there in Linux right now (if you have installed tetex-utils package). This package is present in Authoring and Publishing group in RedHat installation. This is the teTeX homepage. It can be downloaded from there. type latex at the command line and it should give an output similar to the following (both in Linux and Windows) if installed. Type Ctrl-D to terminate it.

[satanix@pclab ~]$ latex
This is pdfeTeX, Version 3.141592-1.21a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.4)
**

5.2 LaTeX in Windows

LaTeX implementation for windows is called MikTeX. Download and install it completely. Instructions for download and installation are available at the MikTeX homepage itself. After installation execute the latex command to obtain the following result. (type Ctrl-C) to get out of it.

C:\>latex
This is e-TeX, Version 3.141592-2.2 (MiKTeX 2.4)
**

5.3 LaTeX Intro

Here i make the grave sin of trying 2 xplain LaTeX to you in simpler terms than the galore of simple tutorials already available. In no way is the intro comprehensive and will not help in becoming an accomplished LaTeX user. It serves as a starter for any1 who's scared to read the huge tutorial at first go. Feel free to skip this section if you have prepared LaTeX documents before. Here are tutorials to LaTeX:
  1. Essential LaTeX
  2. Essential LaTeX for Mathematical symbols/equations
  3. Cornell's LaTeX Primer.
  4. David R Wilkins' LaTeX Primer
  5. Has more links and a very good tutor
  6. Norm Matloff's LaTeX Tutorial
  7. One more good tutorial
  8. Excellent LaTeX references

5.3.1 Steps for creating a PS/PDF file using LaTeX

These are the steps involved in created a Postscript/PDF file using LaTeX.
  1. Source File: You have to create a source file. This contains the text to appear in the final document in pure ASCII TEXT format. extension .tex. This file contains source to include figures/tables etc in LaTeX format.
  2. Compile the Source: The source file is ready. Compile it. Using the latex command. This generates (atleast) 3 files. A .log, .aux a .dvi file. The .aux file is used by latex during preparation of the final document. Of real interest for us is the .dvi file. It is a device independant format which can be viewed and converted into a ps or a pdf for printing. Linux has 'xdvi' package that allows viewing of a dvi file. Complete example is presented in Section 5.3.
  3. Convert to PS/PDF: The greats have already written for us and given us commands such as dvips and dvipdf to do this. Alternatively one can use pdflatex to compile a .tex source file into a pdf directly. That's all a printable brand new document is ready for you. No hassles of formatting etc.

5.3.2 Important points about LaTeX

5.4 LaTeX Examples

What the previous section presented in theory this section will present in practice. The section provides an brief example to create an article and a detailed description to create a report. General outlay of a simple LateX source file (.tex file) is given below. Anything after the '%' character in a .tex file is treated as comment by LaTeX compiler.

\documentclass[options]{type of document to be created}

% We may want to use packages that enable inclusion of graphics, headers footers, etc.
\usepackage{packagename1}
\usepackage{packagename1}

% The title and the authors \title{Title of this article}
\author{Author 1 and Author 2}

% There's a beginning for everything.
\begin{document}

% Create the title and the author....
\maketitle

There are paragraphs ..... Full of pure text ....

And there are tables ....

\begin{table}[options]
% To create a table with 3 columns with text in them left, centre and right justified respectively
\begin{tabular}{|l|c|r|}
\hline
This & is an & illustration \\
\hline
to draw & a table & in LaTeX \\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{table}

and there are equations .....

\begin{equation}
Insert some cool looking equation you copied from somewhere ...
\end{equation}

\begin{displaymath}
Insert cool looking equation you derived ...
\end{displaymath}

And there are figures .....

\begin{figures}
{\center \includegraphics[options]{filename} \par} \end{figures}

% There's an end for every begin. ;).
\end{document}
A TeX source file skeleton.

5.4.1 LaTeX Article Example

Download the example article file. Give it any name and a .tex extension. Also download the diagram used in the article: Internet.eps and put it in the same directory as your first.tex file. This diagram was created in dia. All PS viewers can be used to view EPS files.

Execute the following commands to create a PS file from the source. i have named the file as first.tex.
$latex first.tex
$latex first.tex
(ya .... u have 2 do it atleast twice.)
$dvips -o first.ps first.dvi
$kghostview first.ps

The first two command compile the source file and a lot of stuff appears on screen of which mostly the warnings and the errors are the only of real interest. The third command converts the device independent file (.dvi) into a ps file. View both the dvi and the ps files. View this file with any of your favourite PS viewer (ggv, kghostview, gv and evince in LinuX and Ghostview in Windows).

5.4.2 LaTeX Report Example

This section provides a similar example to create a report. The major difference here is the report gets formatted into chapters, sections subsections etc. This is the format we are interested in. To create a full fledged report with hot shot diagrams, hi-fi equations, path breaking algorithms, we'll need to use the LaTeX report format. Download this zip file. If will unzip a "report-example" directory. The contents of this directory are explained below. The generated report should look like this. The test-chap.tex is for you to add a dummy chapter into the report .... and glossary.sty and gloss.tex are for the glossary. Instructions can be found in the ps in this directory.

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6. VTU LaTeX CLASS FILE

The latex "report" class allows the author to break up the document into chapters, sections, subsections etc. This u have already seen in the previous section. But it doesn't format the report exactly like our respectful VTU guidelines state. A couple of extra lines, a couple of extra pages into the default report class should fix this. Hence we have a brand new "vtu" class file that can be used instead of the "report" class file. Two versions of the class file exist. vtu.cls generates a report without a header and footer. vtuhf.cls generates a header and footer. You may use any that suits your taste. The class file is complete except for.... well ...... er.... er.... the frontpage.
The missing frontpage can be added by creating the same using OpenOffice or MS Word. An example is shown here (DOC, SXW and ODT). Certificates to be attached before the abstract are here: DOC, SXW and ODT.

To try the class file do these steps:

  1. Download it: vtu.cls or vtuhf.cls.
  2. Copy the vtu.cls into the same directory as your contents (wherever your main tex file is).
  3. Edit the first (non-commented) line of your main source tex file. (report-example.tex 4m the prev example). The report by default includes "report" class file (As in \documentclass[12pt,a4paper]{report}). Change it to vtu (the name of the class file in your directory without the extension.). Also the font and paper size ([12pt,a4paper]) is not required as such details are now included in the class file. After the change the line should look like this:
    \documentclass{vtu}
  4. Recompile the main tex file and view it. Notice the difference ???? The recompiled report using vtu.cls is here.
The complete vtu report example directory is here for your reference in TGZ and ZIP formats. Some points to be noticed in the report using vtu class are:
  1. Page borders are set according to the VTU formatting rules requirement.
  2. All chapter names are centred. Chapter numbers are right justfied.
  3. Mandatory pages such as Abstract, Acknowledgements and Declaration are generated automatically. Only the matter has to be filled by the candidate.
  4. and many other points i'm too lazy to add right now....

6.1 Report Frontpage

Of course the front page has not been designed in LaTeX. The main page takes a bit more work to do such as converting the VTU logo into latex text pic (that can be embedded into a page). Also there are a million branches in VTU both in BE and MTECH.... any case .... i'm working on it ... will put up as soon as possible i hope.
The missing frontpage can be added by creating the same using OpenOffice or MS Word. An example is shown here (DOC, SXW and ODT). Certificates to be attached before the abstract are here: DOC, SXW and ODT.

IMPORTANT: The class file is constantly being improved and the latest made available here. To use a new vtu.cls u just have to overwrite the old one and compile the report again. That's all. The recompilation will use the new file and new changes will take effect.

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7. Final Viva

About the FINAL VIVA and DEMO.
  1. Looks like it isn't a rule (that i have heard of) regarding the demo during ur Final viva. This brings us to conclude that ur viva MAY or MAY NOT have a demo with it.
  2. Also, ur final demo during the viva is influenced by these factors:
  3. Final viva duration usually lasts 30-45 mins. If u stammer during the Q-A session it'll prolong even more.
  4. Every1's belief that the external exists for the sole purpose of making ur viva miserable is plain wrong. Externals are in most cases good friends of ur internal guides. If ur interal guide has a good opinion abt ur work ..... u score.
  5. Prepare a precise presentation abt ur work. The presentation should NOT be more than 30 mins. Don't go on for an hour abt everything that ur team did and ur manager planned and stuff like that. The presentation should be crisp and about ur work in the past year.
  6. Prepare visually appealing presentations (with quality content in them ;)). Use Beamer package for latex. This most helpful for those who have written their report in latex. Beamer makes exceedingly beautiful presentations in PDFs and it'll beat everything u have seen till date. U may use OpenOffice or other presentation making software.
  7. One way u can be sure that the examiners are interested in ur work is when query in between d presentation without waiting for u to finish d presentation. Take special interest and answer such queries and u'll earn extra points.
  8. A Q-A session follows d presentation. Again it is a misconception that they test ur "C++" (or whichever area ur project is in) knowledge in this Q-A session. They do that only if u convince the examiners during ur presentation that u r NOT d original creator of the work.
  9. Overall experience on d viva by MOST of my classmates (including me) is that it is a general, healthy, technical chit-chat about YOUR work with some prof 4m another college. that's all. Usually they are impressed ... and usually they award enough marks. U don't have 2 b extra-ordinary in d viva. But u have 2 have GOOD technical content to talk and original work to show. They come 2 viva to award u some marks ... not to screw ur life.

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8. Other Reading:

  1. Advice on report writing..
  2. How to write a doctoral thesis.
  3. A note on academic integrity.
  4. Acceptable and Unacceptable use of non-original material
  5. Literature Survey
  6. .

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Appendix A. Download Materials.

A.1 Preparation of Report.

Important download materials that appear in the article are listed here:
  1. The VTU class file OR VTUHF class file.
  2. The VTU report example directory: TGZ and ZIP
  3. The final report example using the VTU class file.
  4. Internal and External certificate formats in DOC, SXW and ODS formats.
  5. Frontpage Example in DOC, SXW and ODT
  6. The glossary style files
  7. VTU Logo JPEG.

A.2 Installation Files/Links:

  1. Ghostview (.ps file viewer) for your OS.
  2. LaTeX implementation for windows: Download and Install.

A.3 LaTeX Materials/Tutorials:

  1. Lyx Homepage, LyX Download, Lyx Links
  2. Kile - KDE Integrated LateX Environment - Homepage., Kile - Download, WineFish LaTeX editor, vim-latex extension for vim users. Emacs users may be interested in these: Highlighting latex in emacs, Emacs/LaTeX inline Preview.
  3. Not so short intro to LaTeX
  4. how to write a thesis in LaTeX.
  5. The latex user guide PDF and TEX.
  6. Excellent LaTeX references
  7. Essential LaTeX
  8. Essential LaTeX for Mathematical symbols/equations
  9. Cornell's LaTeX Primer.
  10. David R Wilkins' LaTeX Primer
  11. Has more links and a very good tutor
  12. Norm Matloff's LaTeX Tutorial
  13. One more good tutorial
  14. Tex Tips. Have a look.
  15. Ten Reasons Why TeX is Better than Word

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Appendix B. Miscellaneous.

View and sign my guestbook.

NOTE: Latest Version is here. Mirror of this page is available here..

Literature Survey Howto:

Ok .... all this right 4m d top of my head.

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